214 Tactics for soft deep snow
Soft snow, like extremely hard snow, will reveal the deficiencies of a rider’s technical execution far better than consistently groomed snow. Soft snow allows a board to bend easier, which, among other things, will indicate whether or not the bindings are mounted too close to the tip of the board. If a rider complains about premature muscle fatigue in one leg, or constantly flips ‘over the bars’, then the bindings need to be moved back. Finesse is rewarded in soft snow. If a rider is accustomed to hammering their edges to turn, the board will simply sink and stall. If a rider relies on rotational movements to bring the board to edge, deep snow will provide enough resistance so than the rider will not fully change direction, or they will easily lose their balance.
Perhaps the most effective means of riding in deep snow is to maintain momentum, so that the board will float up out of the depth at each edge change. Rather than allowing the board to point directly across the hill at the end of each turn, cut each turn off early. Deeper snow is slower snow; the depth provides some speed control.
Similarly, a rider should be aware of the rebounding characteristics of their board, and should be responsive to the sink/float rhythm of the board through each turn.
Rotational movements and movements to edge should be toned down. As deeper snow provides resistance to forward movement, a rider should not lean to the inside of a turn with the assumption that the board will catch up with them as on hard snow. If they do move inside too fast, they will simply fall down as the board stalls. In the same vein, if the rider has too much weight on the front foot, the board will stall, as the excessive bend in the tip of the board will generate too much resistance to forward progress.
Seriously, telemark skiing in deep snow is way more fun than snowboarding in deep snow.